THE THIRD MAN is a novel by writer Graham Greene that was adapted for film by British director Carol Reed in 1949. Often held as a masterpiece of Film Noir film making, Reed's monochrome classic explores themes of murder, corruption, love and loyalty in a shady post-World War II Vienna. 

The films protagonist, writer Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten Valli), arrives in Vienna on the pretence of staying with his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) who has offered him a job. When Martins arrives in Vienna he receives the news that Lime has died in a fatal car accident. Holly deems Harry's death suspicious and sets out to question Harry's acquaintances in Vienna to find out more. 


The film itself is often praised for its revolutionary expressionist cinematography, atmospheric lighting and sets, avant garde camerawork (especially the use of the dutch angle shot) and celebrated acting. In 1999 the film was voted the best British film of all time by the British Film Institute. 

The original score was composed by Anton Karas who at the time was a little known Zither player and composer. His main theme for the soundtrack later went on to top the international music charts in 1950, cementing its place in music history.